I haven't really had a whole lot to say about the Bush administration's desperate efforts to legalize torture and warrantless wiretapping, in order to retroactively make themselves not criminals anymore. (Which is, of course, a tacit admission that they currently are criminals.) It's not that I haven't wanted to, it's just very daunting in its scope, and I'm really not the best person to talk about all the legal ramifications. That would be Glenn Greenwald, who is absolutely amazing and should be read by everybody.
This is a huge turning point in American history, with the United States government on the verge of enshrining the tactics of dictatorship into American law. That congressional Democrats are not railing and fighting against this with everything they've got is shameful and a huge mistake. This is not about fighting against terrorists, this is about fighting for democracy, and I think they're going to lose a lot of votes by shying away from this battle.
A few posts ago, I talked about the Democrats using Bush as a club against congressional Republicans trying to get elected or re-elected. But I think they should do the reverse as well: Demand that their Republican opponents declare how they will vote on the various bills to legalize torture and warrantless wiretapping. If the Republican candidates are trying to distance themselves from Bush, force them to back it up with their votes. If they pressure the Republicans to bring those bills to a vote before the election, they might even be able to stampede the Republicans towards sanity and the rule of law in much the same way the Republicans stampeded the Democrats away from it in 2002 and 2004.
Of course, the key will be to couch it in terms of accountability, core American values, and reciprocal treatment of captured troops (inviting enemies to waterboard them is not exactly "supporting the troops," now is it?). Oh, and be sure to remind everyone that the warrant requirement is retroactive by 72 hours, since no-one else ever bothers to mention it. The Democrats need to use every lever at their disposal to stop the Republicans from completing their desecration of our national character, and Dubya's lame-albatross status is one of the biggest.
As Brad R. at Sadly No! says, grow a pair.